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Optimizing Your Charitable Contribution

Susan Schildt, CFP®

Director of Financial Education

Last Updated
July 14, 2020
Calligraphy of the word GIVE

Consider Focusing on Outcomes Rather Than Outputs

When evaluating where to make charitable contributions, donors are beginning to focus more on outcomes than outputs. What does this mean? Following are the differences between inputs, outputs and outcomes.

Inputs – In the charitable world, inputs are things like dollars contributed, volunteer hours worked and items donated.

Outputs – Charities have historically reported outputs, such as meals provided, tutoring hours conducted and clothing delivered.

Outcomes – In contrast, outcomes demonstrate the impact on a population served, such as number of meal recipients who became self-sufficient, improvement in feelings of safety and school performance by those tutored.

Encouraging charities to report outcomes and supporting organizations that demonstrate improvements may help optimize the impact of your contributions.

Another way to optimize contributions is to make donations in the most tax-efficient manner possible, such as contributing assets you already own that have appreciated, using IRA dollars to make donations if you have reached age 70 ½ or setting up special charitable trusts. It’s wise to work with an advisor who can help ensure you are employing the most appropriate gifting strategies given your personal financial situation.

If you’d like to begin maximizing your charitable impact, Social Impact Financial can help. Our advisors view charitable gifting strategies as an important part of the financial planning process and have extensive experience helping clients realize their giving objectives.

At Creative Planning, we have a dedicated team that specializes in socially responsible investing and includes an attorney, a CPA and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. For assistance with your charitable gifting strategy, or for any other financial matter, please schedule a call.

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This commentary is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

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